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BOPIS and the customer experience

The implementation of retail technology in physical stores is intrinsic to a fully-functional retailer, providing both an increased level of customer experience and satisfaction.

Customer shopping behaviors have continued to evolve in recent years, driven by mobile on-demand shopping, multiple ways to research and purchase items, and an overall desire for more choice. As a result, retailers have had to keep up with those changing needs as they try to outperform the competition; rolling out omnichannel and multichannel offerings has been key in enabling retailers to elevate their level of customer service. However, if the past year has taught the retail industry one thing, it’s that having an effective omnichannel solution is no longer about giving retailers a competitive edge, it’s now a necessity to survive.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a phenomenon never seen before in the supply chain, with brick and mortar stores closing for months and online retail activity increasing at an unprecedented pace. Buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) and Buy-online-return-in-store (BORIS) are increasingly two of the most critical strategies required to help fulfill customer demand and drive traffic to stores. They also serve as the final touchpoint in the customer experience process for many, making it critical that they are executed successfully. By taking advantage of item-level RFID technology and its ability to significantly increase inventory accuracy (more than 98%) for BOPIS, it can become a highly relied upon technology that helps kickstart the retail sector into accelerated post-pandemic growth.

The Role of BOPIS and BORIS in the Customer Experience

Retail technology has experienced a revamp over the last year and a half, as COVID has forced retailers to invest in online solutions such as BOPIS and BORIS. The implementation of retail technology in physical stores is intrinsic to a fully-functional retailer, providing both an increased level of customer experience and satisfaction, as well as improved employee morale as store staff feel equipped with the tools they need to perform their duties effectively.

Modern customers now demand a flawless and personalized experience. RFID allows employees to focus on providing that experience rather than manually checking inventory – a time consuming and often inaccurate task. BOPIS is revolutionizing retail during a critical time, consolidating a hybrid shopping experience where customers can buy items online before picking them up in a physical store. BOPIS and BORIS provide retailers with the opportunity to drive additional customers to stores and create brand loyalty when the process is executed well.

The RFID Solution

RFID technology offers retailers the ability to gain complete visibility of all stock across their entire estate, no matter where in the supply chain. RFID technology can help stores raise their inventory accuracy to 98% at the item level, a remarkable increase from the standard 70% achieved without RFID’s implementation. Beyond the RFID benefits of inventory management, the retailer can change the way they serve customers, providing shoppers with real-time information and greater product availability — in the styles, sizes, and colors they want.

By leveraging item-level RFID and combining the technology with BOPIS and BORIS models, retailers can offer shoppers an increased level of convenience and safety as they return to physical stores. By giving customers the option to purchase items from home before traveling to pick up items, customers can minimize contact with others, remain socially distanced, and streamline the entire purchasing process. This offering is a differentiator that has allowed retailers to connect with shoppers in stores who alternatively would have relied on online-only competitors for their purchases.

BOPIS and the Future of Retail

Implementing retail technologies such as RFID enables retailers to track their stock levels and inventory accurately and efficiently across multiple platforms, and apply this critical data to drive improved BOPIS and BORIS performance. It also reduces order completion times with RFID-enabled item search functionality, reducing cancelled orders and meeting customer demands for faster order pickup availability. In turn, this not only provides an opportunity for increased sales in the immediate future as we emerge from lockdown and COVID restrictions, but it also provides the potential for increased market share and more sustainable processes in the long term.

As we emerge into a new era of retail, the emphasis will be placed on how retailers can work smarter, shifting talent and resources from carrying out routine tasks such as counting inventory and searching for items and instead focusing on growing sales by engaging with customers. Consumer behaviors have been permanently altered, and retailers need to adapt in order to deliver more effective omnichannel experiences including BOPIS and BORIS for an elevated customer experience.

To find out more about how RFID technology can improve your customers’ experience, contact info@sml-rfid.com